Scientists have successfully created a Lithium ion micro-battery the size of a grain of sand. A team of researchers from Harvard University and the University of Illinois were able to create the tiny battery using 3D printingtechnology.
In order to achieve this feat, the separate parts of the battery were printed layer-by-layer using materials thinner than a human hair. This resulted in two separate comb-like structures which, when interlocked, act as the anodeand cathode. These were then immersed in an electrolyte solution which created a working battery.
This created a micro-battery comparable to what is commercially available in “charge and discharge rate, cycle life and energy densities.” For years, scientists have been trying to develop miniature devices in a range of areas including medicine and communications. However, due to current manufacturing techniques, the batteries have often been larger than the devices they are supposed to power.
This development could pave the way for new types of miniature technologies, as well as technologies deemed not feasible due to limitations in existing battery design.